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Posts Tagged ‘meredith fife day’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Lisa Nolan
A child called Melissa painted artist Lisa Nolan’s portrait of her at Lowell’s Making Art with Artists program in 2015. When artists work with children, freedom to create is the name of the game.

Did you catch the National Public Radio story about a free art camp in Michigan? I read about it at ArtsJournal, one of my favorite sources.

My friend and former boss Meredith Fife Day led a similar program in Lowell, Massachusetts, called Making Art with Artists. It was amazing.

Zak Rosen at NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday interviewed one of artists behind the Michigan arts camp.

“In Hamtramck, Mich., a working class city almost surrounded by Detroit, camp is not affordable for many kids. An artist has started a camp inspired by adventure playgrounds and neighborhood artists. …

“Hamtramck is formerly a working-class Polish city. But in recent years, there’s been a huge surge of other immigrants, many from Bangladesh and Yemen. Accompanying that surge have been lots of artists who work to put community at the center of their practice, people like Faina Lerman. [Lerman and her husband have] eight open lots.

“They garden on a few of them, but that still leaves plenty of space for other stuff. And in this part of the city, there aren’t any playgrounds. So this summer, Lerman and some neighborhood artists started a free, week-long day camp. …

“Camp Carpenter does not have a stated mission. If it did, it might be, let’s just do this and see what happens. And adults are here to help, not to lead.

“LERMAN: I feel like everything is just very over structured for kids. Like, they don’t have even the space to make their own decisions or to let their minds expand to different ways of learning or gathering information.

“ROSEN: So here, the structure is intentionally loose. But by the end of the week, there is the start of an adventure playground, built in part by the campers. …

“ROSEN: One young camper, Jimmy Engalan, is learning how to use a hammer. A less patient adult may have allowed him a few whacks of the nail and then taken over — but not teaching artist Liza Bielby. …

“She watches Jimmy until he drives the nail all the way down into a wood pallet. It takes 258 knocks. I counted — 258. But he does it. …

“ANGILENA OMOLARA-FOX: I’m Angilena Omolara-Fox, and I am 11 years old. I made a pillow. I made a dress. I helped with the little fort thing over there.

“ROSEN: So would you come back to camp?

“ANGILENA: Yes, because I don’t really get a lot of chances to use tools and to make, like, things that I would like to make.”

More at NPR, here.

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Art: Maggie Stern
“Fish for Supper”

Concord Art has mounted a juried show of member works. I have been twice this week. It’s accessible and stimulating.

When you first enter, you hear a strange clattering and turn to see a beat-up old medicine cabinet with vintage pill bottles inside that are rattling around like ghosts. Very amusing.

My former boss, Meredith Fife Day, had two lovely country scenes in acrylic from her travels in Ireland, and she was the one who reminded me to see the show.

I took a photo of Maggie Stern’s playful “Fish for Supper,” above. Stern says, “What I love most about art is that you get to make up the rules.” I Googled her and found that she has connections with the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Mass., and has excelled in a variety of artistic realms, including illustrating children’s books and making kits for crafty folks to reproduce her original stitchery.

I was also drawn to Lorraine Sullivan’s use of vintage linens. There must be something in the air about vintage. I’ve been doing a little prospecting (along with Erik’s mother) to add to Suzanne’s new vintage locket collection at Luna & Stella, and have learned that the idea of mixing vintage with contemporary birthstone jewelry is quite popular.

In fact, all sorts of vintage items are being cherished now, to the point that it was not only wonderful but a bit painful to see how Sullivan used her seamstress grandmother’s handiwork in the piece below. Creative destruction. Happy-sad.

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